Harkening back to the 1950s, the San Jose Police Department conducted a sting operation between 2014 and 2015 in which an undercover decoy officer was used to lure unsuspecting gay men into a park restroom popular for gay cruising, leading to two dozen arrests. Now, as CBS 5 reports, civil rights attorney Bruce Nickerson is bringing a class action suit against the department, saying that all the arrests are invalid.
Says Nickerson, the arrests should be thrown out "Because the decoy automatically makes every arrest invalid by generating in the mind of the defendant the reasonable belief that the decoy is interested and not likely to be offended."
Also he says that the department was unfairly targeting gay men for arrests and citations for absurd charges such as "loitering near a bathroom with the intent to commit a lewd act." Nickerson says, "You want to know how many decoy arrests they have made for male-female lewd conduct? Zero."
Nickerson will be seeking "modest" cash settlements with the suit, but also to have the arrests removed from the defendants' records.
The SJPD would argue that they were trying to stem the tide of lewd behavior at a restroom a tearoom, as our gay grandads would have called it that sits just beside a kids' baseball diamond. But it doesn't seem as though their sting did much good in the video below you can see a table that's been set up for public health outreach outside the bathroom offering free condoms and HIV informational pamphlets.